UH EMS Institute Partnership Creates Unique EMS Health Information Exchange

Providing the region’s first patient outcome portal to the Fire and EMS services is just one new way that University Hospitals EMS Institute continues to lead the way in pre-hospital medicine.  University Hospitals partnered with Zoll Data Systems Care Exchange to bring this service, known as a Health Information Exchange (HIE), to their EMS providers.

This process enables all EMS agencies with patient information access to operate cohesively and efficiently follow the patient through their care at the hospital.  These changes have eliminated the antiquated process of faxing the patient care record (PCR) to the Emergency Department, which caused an inability to access patient feedback from an EMS perspective. University Hospitals implemented the technology to make life simpler, and instead of using multiple systems to track patient progress and provide feedback to EMS professionals, executed the Care Exchange.  

“In the past, EMS would make a request with the designated hospital where the patient was taken, and it could take days or weeks to receive feedback.  The Zoll system takes out the middleman and allows agencies with access to go to the portal and see patient information in real time,” said Mike Monahan, one of the two EMS coordinators responsible for instituting the new system. 

Zoll Care Exchange uses patient demographics collected in the prehospital setting, compares them to hospital medical records, and matches them.  The results provide feedback to our EMS agencies, which can enhance training, treatment, and overall process.

 “This also provides our EMS Coordinators and Medical Directors a singular platform to speed their review process, assuring that Quality Assurance is still done by a human but is now done more efficiently,” adds EMS Coordinator Jon Cameron

The Care Exchange program provides an Emergency Department disposition, procedures and diagnosis, and then has a separate section for the hospital admission, disposition, procedures, outcome and discharge.

“This program will help the medical directors and coordinators review the prehospital treatment and protocols to make sure they are applied correctly and effectively to the right illness and injuries,” said Cameron. “Most importantly, with the ability to see the patient’s final diagnosis and outcome, the prehospital care providers get to see the difference that they made in a patient’s care.”

University Hospitals and the Zoll Care Exchange engineers worked diligently to create this special software data bridge.  It has been rolled out to all UH hospitals and about 180 prehospital agencies, making this the first system of its kind in Ohio.